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Viso: 12th good enough to get emotions pumping.


EJ Viso and the crew of the #13 PDVSA HVM Racing entry insist that they will not be reverting to the #33 plate that the Venezuelan carried in his rookie IndyCar season, despite seeing a top ten starting position translate into twelfth at the flag in Saturday's SunTrust Indy Challenge at Richmond.

Viso was encouraged with the seventh starting position at the 0.75-mile D-shaped oval - the second-highest of his season after gridding fourth in Long Beach - and there was cautious optimism that a first top ten finish of a hard-knock season may be possible through the early part of the 300-lap race.

Viso kept pace with the leaders for much of the race, only to see the HVM team's misfortune return as two untimely caution periods thwarted their efforts. He fell two laps down on lap 138 when the yellow flags flew while the #13 car was on pit-road for a scheduled stop and, while waiting for a timely caution that might get him back on track, was thwarted when Helio Castroneves hit the wall to bring out another caution on lap 248 - just as Viso was pitting again.

The second-year racer ran in the top 15 for the remainder of the race, and managed a late pass on Ed Carpenter to take twelfth place, before insisting that the result still represented an upturn in form.

"Even if it's not the result we were looking for - especially after the strong pace we had through all the practices and qualifying - it's something that's going to pump our emotions a bit higher," Viso said of his first finish of the season, "We were all a little bit low because we hadn't finished a race so far, so just finishing means a lot for the team and for me.

"We had a very fast car - I was running at the same pace as the leaders, and I was saving fuel all through the race. It's just that yellow came out at the wrong time for us and that put us a couple laps down. I just need to thank the team and everyone that has supported me going through these difficult races. I want to thank them and tell them that I've been working harder than ever to achieve podiums. We've got the potential and we've improved the car a lot."

There is little time for the team to reflect on its achievement, however, as a return to the road courses beckons at Watkins Glen International this weekend.

“We are obviously happy to have that finish under our belts - we had various disappointments over the first seven races of the season, and we knew we had to turn things around," team principal Keith Wiggins commented, "Even though we had our setbacks, we kept working to make the necessary changes to improve, and I think we reached a turning point. The important thing is that we had a competitive car. It's just a shame the cautions worked against us.”


Tagged as: HVM , EJ Viso , Keith Wiggins

Related Pictures

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Indy Racing League. 7 May 2009. Indianapolis 500 practice. Indianaoplis Motorspeedway. Indianapolis, Indiana. E.J. Viso.
EJ Viso in pit lane (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso in his car (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso in action during practice on Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso subbing for an injured James Hinchcliffe on Monday at practice for the Indianapolis 500. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastian Saavedra, driver of the #6 TrueCar Dragon Racing Chevrolet IndyCar finished 8th and Marco Andretti,, driver of the #25 Dr Pepper Andretti Autosport Chevrolet IndyCar finished 10th Sunday, September 1, 2013 at the Grand Prix of Baltimore on the street circuit in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
EJ Viso, driver of the #5 Team Venezuela PDVSA CITGO Andretti Autosport HVM Chevrolet, races to a fifth-place finish Sunday, July 14, 2013 during the IZOD IndyCar Series Race Two in the Streets of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt for Chevy Racing)
EJ Viso ready for action at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 6 2013.(Photo Credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso heads to the garage at the Pocono Open Test - July 4, 2013. (Photo Credit: Brett Kelley for IndyCar Media.)
Ryan Hunter-Reay racing EJ Viso in the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
The Andretti Autosport cars of Marco Andretti, Ryan Hunter Reay and EJ Viso during the Milwaukee IndyFest at the Milwaukee Mile - Saturday, June 15 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media.)
EJ Viso driving in a wet early qualifying at Detroit Belle Isle - Friday May 31 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso in action at Detroit Belle Isle - Friday May 31 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso at Detroit Belle Isle - Friday May 31 2013. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso during a wet qualifying in Detroit - Friday, May 31, 2013. (Photo Credit: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso in the ¢5 Andretti-HVM car on the seventh day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Friday May 17, 2013. (Picture Credit: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso leaves pit lane on the seventh day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Friday May 17, 2013. (Picture Credit: Forrest Mellott for IndyCar Media)
EJ Viso on the fourth day of practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Tuesday May 14, 2013. (Picture Credit: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)

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Jo - Unregistered

June 30, 2009 12:42 PM

Good to see the team get a finish under their belts. After their stella rookie season in '08, this year has been a 'mare so far, what with 4 mechanical breakages, twice having their races end with other peoples incidents, then the wall kisser at Iowa. It really doesn't show the teams (or Viso's) undoubted ability, & morale at the team must've been fairly dispondant & low. Hopefully with a string of road courses they can get 'back on track' in the 2nd half of the season! :)

Don - Unregistered

June 30, 2009 2:51 PM

EJ's had a tough season. Lot's of bad luck. As they say, you first need to finish the race to have a chance. The competition level is high, as he and Bobby D are finding out.



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